who is Godly pray to you while you may be found" (Psalm
MID-EAST WAR ALERT #1
Sharon Issues Ultimatum, U.S. Puts Gulf Fleet on Alert
Proclaim this among the nations: "Prepare for war! Wake up the mighty men... Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruning hooks into spears; Let the weak say, 'I am strong.' Let the nations be wakened... I will sit to judge all the surrounding nations" (Joel 3:9-10, 12).
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has told Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat, he has "a few days, no more" to end the violence among his supporters or face a sharply escalated Israeli military response. Sharon's earlier call for a total cease-fire was met with escalated Palestinian attacks on uniformed and civilian Israelis. Experts say war is already underway.
Former Senator George Mitchell, appointed by President Bush to head a commission to study the conflict, issued a report last month calling for an immediate cease-fire by both sides. Israeli Prime Minister Sharon responded by declaring an immediate, unilateral cease-fire.
Arafat called it an Israeli ploy for preparing "an atrocious, far-reaching war." Palestinian terrorist attacks, with Arafat's blessing, have continued unabated. Israeli police and soldiers have faced daily gunfire and in the past three days, four Israeli civilians were murdered. As this alert goes to press, breaking news reports a Palestinian suicide bomber has killed 17 and injured more than 80 Israelis in Tel Aviv (6 others were killed and 50 injured by a bomber, May 18).
Sharon is now under intense pressure from Israelis to end the cease-fire and stop the Palestinian assaults. Today, Israeli President Moshe Katsav asked President Bush to issue a target date for both sides to accept a cease-fire.
Surrounding Arab nations have issued public condemnations of Israel and seem to be positioning themselves to war against Israel. Threats of anti-U.S. terrorism have emerged elsewhere in the region. Responding to intelligence indicating terrorist threats, the U.S. Navy Fifth Fleet, headquartered in Bahrain, was put on high alert and "much of the fleet put out to sea as a precaution."
The State Department is warning Americans traveling abroad to "maintain a high level of vigilance and to take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness..." (Intercessors for America, 5/31/01).
Israeli prayer advocate, Eliyahu Ben Haim, wrote this week, "As I sit here in Jerusalem, I can say with certainty that we are at war" (Sound of the Shofar, 5/31/01 - available upon request.). If war fully breaks out, President Bush and America could face an unprecedented challenge as the nations of the world line up in opposition to Israel and we find ourselves the tiny nation's only remaining true friend.
Please Join Us in Believing, Overcoming
Heavenly Father, You teach us, "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem." INTERVENE to stop this war. Give Ariel Sharon & the Israeli leaders WISDOM. Grant President Bush COURAGE & WISDOM, to deal with the challenges ahead. May he DRAW NEAR to You, KNOW Your heart & RESIST those who will pressure him to abandon Israel. May the U.S. STAND by Israel as a true friend & ally. STOP Yasser Arafat & his terrorist minions & CONSTRAIN the Arab Axis from joining in. In Jesus' Name, Amen (Ps 41:5-13; 120:all; 122:6-9; Josh 1:6-8; 1 Chr 19:13; Is 9:6-7).
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